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Alcoholism

  • ... he'd got a thirst on him all wool and a yard wide.

  • Almost anything can be preserved in alcohol, except health, happiness, and money.

  • ... when I spoke of having a drink, it was a euphemism for having a whole flock of them.

  • Employed as I had been employing it, liquor is a fixative of old patterns ...

  • Alcohol is a good preservative for everything but brains.

  • The agonies of alcoholism have been familiar to me since early childhood. Childhood is rather brief under those conditions.

    • Helen Hayes,
    • with Marion Glasserow Gladney, Loving Life ()
  • Alcohol is an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind.

  • This startling assertion could not bring his majesty's veracity into question; for according to his definition, and to the received opinion at his court, 'No man could be called drunk, so long as he could lie upon the ground without holding onto it.'

  • ... anybody who drinks seriously is poor: so poor, poor, extra poor, me.

  • But the true evil of drink lies in the disillusion: that the initial pleasure very soon evaporates, leaving a demoralizing craving for more, which is not even temporarily pleasurable. Which then leads to deterioration of the faculties of both body and mind; plus a bewildering lack of co-operation between the two.

  • ... there is this malign curse laid on dipsomaniacs. That they must absolutely have a drink: in order to feel strong enough to stop drinking.

  • ... if a man be discreet enough to take to hard drinking in his youth, before his general emptiness is ascertained, his friends invariably credit him with a host of shining qualities which, we are given to understand, lie balked and frustrated by his one unfortunate weakness.

  • ... the reward for total abstinence from alcohol seems, illogically enough, to be the capacity for becoming intoxicated without it.

  • [Evelyn Waugh] made drunkenness cute and chic, and then took to religion, simply to have the most expensive carpet of all to be sick on.

  • He who has once taken to drink can seldom be said to be guilty of one sin only ...

    • Hannah More,
    • "The History of Hester Wilmot," The Works of Hannah More, vol. 1 ()
  • You know a little drink now and then never hurt nobody, but when you can't git started without asking the bottle, you in trouble.

  • I was into pain reduction and mind expansion, but what I've ended up with is pain expansion and mind reduction.

  • When she reached the bar, she ordered the equivalent of a small safe to be dropped on her head.

  • Saying you're an alcoholic and an addict is like saying you're from Los Angeles and from California.


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  • To be drunk is to be intimate with a fool.

    • ,
    • "Letter Written During a January Northeaster," All My Pretty Ones ()
  • Alcoholic drinks make the fat fatter and the thin thinner, and both more feeble mentally.

  • [Georgia] did not invite them in, explaining that it was time for her to start her serious drinking, an activity that required privacy and concentration.

  • No longer is drinking an art with Americans; once they drank for the taste, but now they drink only for the effect. The more quick and fatal the liquor, the better they like it. They are either on the wagon or else.

  • Alcohol may also persuade us that we have found the truth about life, a comforting experience rarely available in the sober hour.

  • Liquor is such a nice substitute for facing adult life.

  • Happiness is a fragile thing, and alcohol, as I know from the house I grew up in, is dangerous to it.

    • Marian Engel,
    • "Share and Share Alike," The Tattooed Woman ()
  • Alcohol flings back, almost illimitably, the boundaries of humor so that we can find uproarious things which our poor sober friends miss altogether. It is necessary, if the joke is really good and really should be shared, to repeat it time and again until finally it penetrates those solemn skulls.

  • Alcoholism isn't a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play.

  • The true alcoholic takes the first drink for the person, or situation, or insult, that upsets him. He takes the rest of the drinks for himself.

    • Lillian Roth,
    • in Lillian Roth, with Mike Connolly and Gerold Frank, I'll Cry Tomorrow ()
  • .... your medicine is your poison is your medicine is your poison and there is no end but madness.

    • Lillian Roth,
    • in Lillian Roth, with Mike Connolly and Gerold Frank, I'll Cry Tomorrow ()
  • The fun, joy, and humor dry up in a relationship when one of the partners is swimming in gin. To my way of thinking, it is selfishness personified to see life through the bottom of a liquor bottle.

  • No one can be as dignified as the near-drunk.

  • ... the sharp odor of gin hit me. Charlie was drowning his sorrows, and they apparently were dying hard.

  • If there was one thing life had taught her, it was never to become overly philosophical or to indulge in much deep thinking about something you were too damn drunk to pronounce.

  • Drink promises you everything, but gives nothing ...

    • Nancy Astor,
    • speech before the House of Commons, in Alice Stone Blackwell, The Woman Citizen ()
  • I'm the child of an alcoholic. I know about promises.

  • Drink was the most fearsome of deceivers ... for it promised one thing and came through with quite another.

    • Kay Boyle,
    • in Kay Boyle with Robert McAlmon, Being Geniuses Together ()
  • My anger made me drink as an escape from reality, a way of forgetting. But you don't know when the medicinal effect ends and the poisoning begins ... This is my sixth year of sobriety. Overcoming alcoholism has been my greatest challenge and my greatest reward.

  • Like so many other recovered alcoholics, I am to this day bewildered that it took so long for me to understand that there was no such animal as 'social drinking' for me; that it had nothing to do with my willpower or self-respect or moral fiber, that it was a simple biochemical intolerance to a drug.

  • Nobody understands that by the time the addiction has set in the alcoholic is mandated to drink ... he cannot not drink! Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, 'Jiminy Cricket, I feel sensational! My life is really in great shape! I think I'll become an alcoholic!' I firmly believe that when a shaking-to-pieces alcoholic says he needs a drink or he will die, he means it.

  • I drank, like everybody else, for a while — until this structure that is my body began its rejection, its refusal to absorb physiologically the alcohol that I put into it. My body lacks certain faculties, certain vitally needed faculties that most people have, to burn off and throw off alcohol. This delicious chemical, this social amenity, this medicine that puts people at their ease because merely being together without it makes them uncomfortable, this medicine became my poison. The insidious, diabolical evil, the viciousness of my disease, is that the poison sets up its own craving for more of itself.

  • There are plenty of alcoholics who can be magnificent when drunk: it does not make them any less alcoholic.

  • Like most women, I remember my first drink in tender minutiae.

  • [On her alcoholism:] At times I feared life so much more than death that twice I sought death. Suicide seemed a welcome release from a terror and agony past bearing.

    • Marty Mann,
    • on Edward R. Murrow's "This I Believe" ()
  • [On alcohol:] Maybe it picks you up a little bit, but it sure lets you down in a hurry.

    • Betty Ford,
    • with Chris Chase, The Times of My Life ()
  • Sobriety always seemed like the end of the world. But gradually it started to seem a better option than, say, dying.

  • What stops you killing yourself when you're intoxicated out of your mind is the thought that once you're dead you won't be able to drink any more.

  • Drinking isn't necessarily the same as wanting to die. But you can't drink without thinking you're killing yourself.

  • No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation.

  • I acquired that drinker's face before I drank. Drink only confirmed it. The space for it existed in me.

  • She was tight as the paper on the wall, as a matter of fact.

  • ... he's as tight as the bark on a tree.

  • ... the liquor sneaked up and grabbed her, got into her mind and talked to her, fooled her into thinking she was thinking for herself when really it was the whiskey thinking whiskey thoughts.

  • The worst thing about hangovers was that you didn't die from them.

  • Alcoholism plus criminality plus whatever caused both in the first place form a combination that is very nearly happy-ending-proof.

  • I live in a social setting in which people are as deep in denial about drinking as they are into drinking.

    • Jacquelyn Mitchard,
    • in Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg, Drinking Diaries ()
  • During my drinking decades, I lived like a pig. My room was a hazardous pile of stilettos, tube tops, wine bottles, ashtrays, and old magazines. I valued nothing. Everything that came into my life was disposable: clothes, opportunities, people. My bedroom looked as if my insides had spilled out onto the floor.

  • You cannot live with active alcoholism without being profoundly affected.

  • There's no point in describing an AA meeting; it's like a car accident or the Grand Canyon, always lost in the translation.

  • But I struggled with Mac, Debbie's daddy. Talked to his family, his church, AA, hid the bottles, threatened the liquor man, left a good job to play nurse, mistress, kitten, buddy. But then he stopped calling me Dahlin and started calling me Mama. I don't play that. I'm my daughter's mama. So I split.

  • If you decide on having an alcoholic at your party, make sure it's a large gathering. This way, until the alcoholic begins removing their clothes or dangling the cat out the window, they can sort of blend in. An alcoholic at a small gathering is called an intervention.

  • Booze is your wife. Booze, that's who you're married to.